It’s that time of year again! Finals are just around the corner, so it’s smart to get studying. In fact, if you haven’t started yet then you’re already late to the game. But fear not! Homer Simpson is here to help you get more studying done way faster with these pro tips:
1. Resist the urge to cram
While cramming for an exam may seem like a surefire way to learn more material faster, rest assured that’s rarely the case. You’ll probably forget most of the material you’ve covered. Plus, you’ll exhaust yourself in the process. Instead, set a study schedule.
2. Did you say…set a schedule?
Yes. Budgeting your time is like budgeting your money. It’s the only way to make sure you’ll have enough. The trick is determining, in advance, how much studying (in hours) you have over how many days. Divide the total number of studying hours by the total number of days to get a rough schedule. Then consider whether you work better in the morning, afternoon, or at night, and adjust your schedule accordingly.
Exercising may seem like a waste of time—or, at best, an unrelated activity—but research shows that exercise increases blood flow to your brain, making it easier to focus. So if you’re feeling lethargic, or brain-dead from a semester of too much work, then take a jog, ride a bike, or have a swim.
4. Change your location
According to the New York Times, just switching study spots each time you study increases data retention. Try the library, the coffee shop, your dorm room, and whatever study lounges you can find. If the weather is cooperating, you can even try studying outside.
5. Reward yourself
Come up with cool ways of rewarding yourself for the study-job-in-progress. For example, you could take a ten-minute break every hour in order to watch cat videos on YouTube. Or you could eat one piece of candy for every few pages you read. The idea here is to reward yourself on a frequent basis, so as to maintain your motivation.
6. Prioritize harder material
Instead of starting with easy material, and working toward the hard stuff, try going in the opposite direction. That way you can direct your energy and focus where it’s needed the most. Save the easy stuff for when your energy and focus runs out.
7. Last, but not least, stay calm!
Stress makes it harder to perform well on your exams, so budget time to wind down before taking your test. Watch a movie, pet a dog, do some yoga — whatever it takes!
Good luck 🙂